About The Bulgarian National Quantum Communication Infrastructure (BG QCI) Plan

The current project aims to implement the first phase of the Bulgarian National QCI plan in the context of the EuroQCI initiative. The Project will be realised by a Consortium with a Lead Organisation Institute of Robotics – BAS via Centre of Competence QUASAR (QUASAR), which is a part of the institute and Competent National Body for EuroQCI.

The other consortium partners are Enterprise Communications Group, Electron Progress, Correct Consulting Group and 3 associated partners: State Agency for National Security, Sofia Municipality and NGO – UNITED BUSINESS CLUBS.

Within the framework of the project the partners will deploy advanced Quantum Key Distribution systems and develop networks through combining quantum and classical security technologies. This will be achieved by deploying Sofia metropolitan QCI network including 3 public authorities – Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Defence and 1 financial institution – DSK Bank.

Further, the partners will create and demonstrate a pilot long-distance terrestrial optical network between the city of Sofia and Kulata, a border point with Greece. In order to train a large number of potential users in quantum communication technologies, the project foresees relevant demonstrations, seminars, conferences and other trainings targeting public authorities, industry, research and technical staff and establishing the National Center for Education and Research in the field of QCI.

The partners will work closely with the Greek Consortium to share experiences and establish effective cross-border cooperation. The project includes the development of a National QCI Roadmap 2024-2027 to ensure the sustainability of the project activities and strategic efforts towards designing and building fully secure QKD systems and networks in the EU.

The successful implementation of the project will contribute to the identified need of ensuring European autonomy in the highly strategic field of quantum communication technologies.

The Lead Organization in the Consortium IR-BAS via CoC QUASAR (QUASAR) is the competent national body in Bulgaria in the field of quantum technologies and responsible for further deployment of the national QCI. Through its expertise in the field of quantum communications and technologies QUASAR will guarantee the successful implementation of the project in accordance with all technological requirements and priorities of EuroQCI. The team in the Centre will take active role in all activities within the project which include technical design, hardware and software implementation. It will also take responsibility for the full verification and validation in the development of the QCI networks and systems. In addition, the Centre’s experts will participate in the preparation of the training materials for the planned use cases, training of different potential users as well as the exercises, demonstrations and dissemination of the results. QUASAR is also responsible for cross border cooperation with a Greek consortium in relation to the development of the National QCI Roadmap 2024-2027.

Electron Progress EAD (EPROGRESS) is a leading Bulgarian defense industry communications and information systems (CIS) integration company. It is the successor of the former Institute of Special Electronics (ISE), founded in the late 60s of 20th century. The company is a cutting-edge provider of C4I (command, control, communications, computers for intelligence) integrated solutions for Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Transportation and Information Systems and other governmental and corporate organization’s needs. EPROGRESS has extensive experience and unique know-how in the development, design and implementation of communications and information products and systems. It has provided over the years CIS solutions based on the systems integration of ATM, ISDN, SDH, MPLS, VoIP, etc. technologies over fiber optics, wired, wireless and satellite communications media. The company has also received a patent in the field of improvised explosive devices (IED) counter measures. The company’s employs are highly skilled specialists in the area of CIS for national security and government purposes and almost all of them hold “Secret” level national security clearance and many of them have NATO “Secret” level security clearances. Currently EPROGRESS ensures the operation of the existing dedicated network in the Ministry of Defence of Bulgaria. Based on this and further having this specific clearance in the field of defence, the partner is selected to integrate the QKD layer in the existing network in the Ministry of Defence of Bulgaria.

Enterprise Communications Group (NCOM) is a leading integrator of the latest classical communication and information technologies. The vast majority of large government and business organizations in Bulgaria use NCOM technologies to organize their existing networks for voice and data transmission, to implement information systems or data centers, to build customer service centers and more. Within the scope of the project this partner will provide all the equipment and infrastructure necessary for the deployment of the planned QCI networks. Further they are responsible for the QKD layer integration (both hardware and software) within the existing terrestrial communication networks of a Bulgarian telecom operator. The experts of NCOM will take part in the practical demonstrations of the systems to potential users. They will gather data and determine the potential difficulties in relation to implementation and give recommendations for improvement of the deployment process from engineering point of view.

Correct Consulting Group (CORRCONS) is a consultant company possessing Technology Transfer Office working with public authorities and administrations, as well as with a large number of business organizations, NGO’s and the industry. The partner will organize the seminars, webinars, conferences and other training aiming to ensure the “Science Business” connection and efficient QCI deployment for the industry as well as to provide the necessary research environment. Using its experience in dissemination the partner will be responsible for the organization of demonstrations of the new QCI networks and systems to the largest number of potential users from the research industry, public authorities and other interested institutions. In addition, the partner will ensure the preparation and implementation of the Communications Strategy in implementation of the QCI plan, taking into account the main objectives and priorities of EuroQCI and the Digital Europe Programme.